… The sacred cry. Liberty, liberty, liberty. This is the opening line of the Argentine Anthem.
200 Years have passed since the first Argentine government was established on May 25th 1810, defying the motherland, Spain. For two hundred years, our people have been clamoring for liberty
and trying to forge an Argentine identity from as many cultures and countries as exist in this world. The Argentine newspaper Clarin made a poll in which it asked the people what it means to be an Argentine. The answers range from the very worst (unorganized, corrupted, lazy) to the very best (hard-working, imaginative, resilient, brave).
This is my definition of Argentina, or what comes to my mind when I think about my beautiful country,
The maté and the gaucho. Asado and dulce de leche
The newspaper stand
Laughing in class with Clemente and Mafalda
Beyond his ideologies, we had a famous revolutionary
When Las Leonas play hockey, or Los Pumas play rugby, Del Potro wins the US Open or Manu fights in the playoffs, we all cheer for them:
The art of the written word: Borges, Cortazar, Alfonsina Storni
One of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. El Ateneo
The mind behind the bypass: Rene Favaloro
The art of music. Soda Stereo and Andres Calamaro. They sing the soundtrack of my life
The fallen soldiers of Malvinas
Iguazu, Aconcagua and Perito Moreno Glacier
Diego and Lio
The people who cheer no matter what
Social unrest. Desaparecidos
The Flag Memorial
San Martin, the liberator. The general who helped us realize that fighting for freedom would only work if we were united. He died in exile, after all he did for the people not only of Argentina, but Chile, Peru and Bolivia.
Argentina is the people who stayed, and the others like me, who for one reason or another left the country, but never abandoned it. No matter where I looked today, I saw the colors of my flag. Blue sky against the white mountains. In the car wash, blue soap against the white foam.
Fito Paez, a Rosarinian singer and fellow Scoundrel sings, “I’m not from here, or there.”
That’s exactly what I feel. When I’m in Argentina, I can’t wait to come back home in Utah. When I’m here, I only dream of going back there. My heart will forever be torn in two. When I was a little girl, I loved to read the dictionary. In the back there was a spread displaying the world flags. My favorite ones were always the Argentine flag, and the USA one, even before I knew what a country even was.
Being an Argentine, is being conflicted. Always. The land of our ancestors versus the land where we were born. The place where we were born versus the place where it is home. All tugging at my heart with the same force, for different reasons.
Happy Two hundred Years Argentina. May the future bring us stability, peace, and wisdom to choose who best represents us. May we be free from ourselves, those traits that pull us down.